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Ed’s Dark Horse News from Emerald City Comicon & Picks for Feb, March & June

8 Mar

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

I’ve been thinking about nothing but the 15th anniversary of Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) since last month and was very excited to see what Dark Horse Comics has plans on announcing this year. In addition to the artist and writer signings and giveaways at the show, there’s something always cool to be found when walking by! Had I gone to the main exhibit hall early in the morning, I might have walked away with a yellow tote bag, but alas, I was in another building awaiting photo ops with a few of this show’s entertainment guests.

Fortunately, I did not miss meeting artist Irene Koh (she’s illustrating the upcoming official Legend of Korra continuation due in shelves Jun 7) and writer Gene Luen Yang (Avatar: Last Airbender). I’ve been buying everything Avatar related this company puts out and plan on a huge binge-read. While waiting in line, I can only smile at how much of a strong fan base this series has, especially amongst the Asian community.

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Also, I got to see Mike Mignola again and learn he’s working on a new work. The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed is out and it takes place in the Hellboy universe. While the stories about the title character are finished, thankfully there’s more to enjoy in this realm from other perspectives. One hope I had is to see all the Hellboy stories packaged together in an omnibus collection; sadly the representative said there are no immediate plans. The collections we have now is it for those preferring the trade paperback route. My mix of one-shots and owning certain storylines sometimes gets me lost as to where each story fits in.

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How to Train Your Dragon: Serpent’s Heir TPB Review

4 Feb

HTTYD Serpents HeirBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Mild spoiler alert

If I had to decide between which How to Train your Dragon (HTTYD) comic book series to follow, my vote is for Dark Horse Comics‘ official follow-up. Penned by Dean DeBlois, director and showrunner of DreamWorks’ series, and Richard Hamilton (Star Wars: Dark Times), I’m enjoying the continuing adventures which take place after the second movie as it puts Hiccup into new adventures before he can even get comfortable with his new crown.

The Serpent’s Heir begins with everyone from the village of Berk helping to rebuild. After a few mishaps, King Hiccup gets a visitor from another island tribe. Calder’s village is being racked with earthquakes and while he expected to meet Stoick the Vast, he only finds the boy king. This young leader certainly has learned a lot from his dad, and he knows never to turn his back to those in need. Both he and his Dragon Riders travel to the island of Nepenthe to assist and find treachery in the midst.

While this first graphic novel is an easy short read, I feel these trials are just one of many in a series of books to help cement Hiccup as King of the Archipelago. News about Stoick’s death has not spread far, but it soon will. Other Vikings will come to challenge Hiccup. Unlike other burly soldiers who are hard to push over, this matchstick shaped lad may seem easy to bend.

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Hammer Comics Gets ‘Fresh’ with The Mummy

15 Dec

184068_1011544_1003By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Hammer Comics’ The Mummy is looking to bring back the film studio’s trademark style of terror. The afterward in the first issue by film historian Marcus Hearn explained executive producer Michael Carreras never lost sight of the fact that The Mummy was aimed squarely at the audience who love X-rated horror. The comic nicely continues in this tradition. While the creative team is cheating by taking cues from the upcoming film of the same name starring Tom Cruise with two sexy mummies causing havoc, I’m okay with that.

Ronilson Freire’s art nicely follows along the style presented from the early Hammer films and the period look is well-researched. Unlike cinematic treatments from classic Hammer era, to create that mystical world of the Duat would only look cheesy. The comic medium is perfect to bring to the Duat (the Egyptian Underworld) to life.

The first issue sets up the situation where Priestess Nebetah is ready to be judged in the weighing of the heart with Osiris presiding. Instead, Anubis intercepts and as for why, the answer will not be immediately known. While the spirit is waiting for a vessel to possess, Angelina Kostenko is not going to be so willing.

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The Science of Why & Where to Find Jay Ingram Next

2 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Celebrated Canadian broadcaster and writer Jay Ingram is touring and promoting his latest book The Science of Why: Answers to Questions About the World Around Us at select stops. This book came out November 1st, and his visit to Victoria, BC at Bolen Books arrived thirty days later, on December 1st, where he spoke to a crowd of children and adults who grew up watching either CBC’s Quirks & Quarks (1979-1992) or Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet (19952-2011). Repeats of the latter program show he will never be missed.

For this writer, to see him speak in person reveals why his presence is delightful. He began the approximately hour-long presentation with a brief discussion about Alzheimer’s — in connection to his book, The End of Memory — and he imparted advice which everyone should take heart. People who walked for at least half an hour each day are less prone to getting this dementia than those who are not. For some people, this fact is well-known. For others, to learn how to improve one’s health as he or she gets older can be discovered anytime.

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